ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 12th Nov, 2019) His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received, at the Qasr Al Bahar, the first group of National Senior Reactor Operators, SROs, and Reactor Operators, ROs, licensed by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR.
The group’s 22 members are the first Emirati engineers to be licensed as nuclear reactor operators in the history of the country.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his pride at the perseverance of the UAE’s sons and daughters and their efforts to acquire scientific knowledge and expertise, which enabled them to make consecutive achievements, reach targets. ''The group has earned the confidence and lived up expectations of the nation's leadership in building a better a future that will befit our future generations," Sheikh Mohamed said.
"Emirati talents have proven their merit and presence, and lived up to the expectations pinned on them. They have succeeded in accomplishing outstanding achievements in various areas," he added while praising the contributions of the Emirati people to the nation’s development and their efforts to elevate its stature among nations.
"Emirati talents have considerable potential and innovative capabilities and we are confident that they can operate the first peaceful nuclear energy project in the Arab world, according to the highest international standards of operational transparency, safety and security," he further added.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed expressed his confidence in the ability of Emirati talents to make the plant a model for all new nuclear energy projects around the world, as it enjoys the support of the international nuclear community in terms of operational transparency, safety and global safety standards.
The meeting was attended by Khaldoun Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC, and Member of the board of Directors, Eng. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, along with the senior management of the corporation and its subsidiaries, Nawah Energy Company and Barakah One Company.
The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, the UAE’s Nuclear Regulator, certified in July the first group of 15 UAE National Senior Reactor Operators, SROs, and Reactor Operators, ROs, including two females, at Nawah Energy Company, the operations and maintenance subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC. Later, a second group of seven Emirati engineers have been certified.
The 22 engineers took part in a three-year training programme developed by ENEC and Nawah, according to the regulations set out by FANR.
The training programme combines hands-on experience from some of the industry’s leading engineering and nuclear energy experts with a discipline-focused curriculum, to ensure the students enter the UAE’s nuclear energy industry with world-class training. The first group of SROs and ROs had the opportunity to train in the Republic of Korea, the USA, South Africa, and the UAE. Throughout the programme, FANR verified and inspected the training programme, from curriculum content through to training implementation and exam administration, ensuring that it met regulatory requirements.
In 2009, ENEC launched the 'Energy Pioneers Programme', which offers talented students a scholarship for the Higher Diploma in Nuclear Technology Programme. So far, it has offered 350 scholarships while 124 of them are still attending classes. Through the Energy Pioneers Program, UAE Nationals have an opportunity to gain specialist expertise and practical experience to pursue a range of careers across the country’s emerging nuclear energy industry and play a part in operating the region’s first nuclear energy plant.
ENEC continues to build a skilled local nuclear energy workforce, with the Emiratisation rate at almost 60 percent.
The overall construction of the four units of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is more than 93 percent. Unit 4 is more than 82 percent complete, Unit 3 is more than 91 percent and Unit 2 is more than 95 percent complete. Unit 1 construction is complete and the unit is currently undergoing commissioning and testing, prior to receipt of the operating licence from FANR, which is currently in the final stages of reviewing the operating license application for the Unit, in preparation for the loading of the first nuclear assemblies.
Nuclear energy is set to play an important role in the UAE’s future energy supply and the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will supply up to 25 percent of the UAE’s energy needs without producing carbon emissions, further contributing to the sustainable growth and prosperity of the nation. The Barakah Nuclear Plant is expected to bring clean energy to the Abu Dhabi power mix and offset more than 21 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions per year when fully operational.